Boss of expanding Saltend firm on 340 new jobs, the future, and why it's a good thing for Hull

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 28 Feb 2019

The boss at INEOS has said the decision to invest £150m in a new facility at Saltend is a huge vote of confidence for Hull.

Graham Beesley, CEO at INEOS Oxide, said the business had “enjoyed doing business in the region” in recent years, and felt Hull was the right home for its new plant.

Hundreds of jobs will be created during the construction phase of the facility, along with 40 once it is opened, as INEOS continues to invest heavily at Saltend.

In 2016, INEOS announced a multi-million pound expansion of its existing plant, and on Wednesday morning it was confirmed £150m would be pumped into a new facility.

The new plant, which will produce Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM), is expected to be up and running by 2022.

Graham Beesley, CEO at INEOS Oxide (Hull Live)

Mr Beesley said: “INEOS has a confidence in the region, a confidence in the people, and a confidence in the skills that are available to us.”

“We look at a lot of factors when considering a site. Whether raw materials can be brought in - and end products exported - easily is a big thing. Saltend’s location on the river is perfect for that.

Read more: INEOS is expanding with £150m new Hull facility - with 40 jobs up for grabs

“It is nice to be bringing new opportunities and employment to the city. We have invested significantly in Hull in the past few years, and this is another example of that.”

The new plant will create 40 jobs at Saltend, doubling INEOS’ current workforce.  On top of that, around 300 construction jobs will be created during the build of the plant.

Saltend Chemicals Park

News of the major investment in Hull comes as a huge boost to Saltend Chemicals Park, which last year saw the closure of Vivergo Fuels, resulting in the loss of 150 jobs.

Mr Beesley said: “What we already have here at Saltend was another key factor in the decision.

Read more: PX takes charge at Saltend Chemical Park after BP buy-out deal

“Both north and south of the Humber, the chemicals industry has been very important for a number of years now.

“This is a project which has been a long time in the pipeline. It’s nice now to be able to announce the news and put a smile on peoples’ faces.”

Vinyl Acetate Monomer, which will be produced at the plant, is a component used in a wide range of important high-end products, including laminated windscreens, toughened glass, adhesives, coatings, films, textiles and carbon fibre.

The CEO at INEOS Oxide also touched on the subject of Brexit, as he quashed any fears at the timing of announcing the new plant.  Mr Beesley said: “The challenge has been getting on with business while all the talk has been going on.

“No duty barriers and frictionless trade are both things INEOS stands for. As a business you have no control over these things, you just hope for the best and plan for the worst.

“A no-deal Brexit would be the worst for us. Regardless of that though, we believe we can exist and thrive in any situation.”

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